Limerick school takes stand against single use plastic

Jess Casey

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Jess Casey

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jess.casey@limerickleader.ie

Limerick school takes stand against single use plastic

Members of the school's plastic-free committee

CRESCENT College Comprehensive has become the first school in Munster to launch a single-use plastic-free school programme which sees the school officially stop the sale of single-use plastic.

A recent survey carried out by the school in Dooradoyle found that 2,500 single-use plastic bottles were being purchased by students weekly. 

In its bid to become plastic-free, the school has now installed extra water fountains and each student will purchase lifetime, reusable hydro-flasks.

“From our aim to eradicate all single-use plastics from the school we hope that as a knock-on effect occurs, the whole school premises will be cleaner and tidier,” fourth year student Harry Page said, on behalf of the Crescent College Comprehensive Plastic-Free Committee. 

“From this, we hope to initiate a plastic-free action plan to reach plastic-free status among other city schools, businesses, community groups and authorities.”

The school’s plastic-free committee has grown from six members to 30 in just over a year, made up of students from first, second, third and fourth year. As well as setting up recycling bins in the school, students also take part in the Team Limerick Clean-Up. The committee also attended the national climate change strike at Arthur’s Quay on March 15.

The group has recently been chosen by An Taisce as one of its first groups of climate ambassadors.

“We are not banning single-use plastic, for the simple reason that banning can lead to a resistant or defensive reaction and it is not the attitude we wish to convey,” Harry said, speaking at the launch of the initiative. 

“We seek a cultural change based on education and encouragement, not on force or policing. We will not use words such as ‘rules’ or ‘banned’, when implementing this policy initiative. We believe that it is right and will, in the long run, be a more rewarding approach.” 

Students, parents, members of the board of management and staff at Crescent were thanked for their work with the programme. 

“We have also continued to receive great support from the parents’ council, who recently agreed to contribute towards the cost of a drinking foundation for the students.” The school also received a grant from the council to help students purchase their hydro-flasks at a reduced fee.